Presentation (Powerpoint) File
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This is a fun interactive PowerPoint on common idioms with an accompanying worksheet. A cheerleader squad uses many idioms when they cheer at the pep rally, but they are confused and use incorrect words. Students must figure out the correct order of the scrambled idioms. They click forward through the slides for clues and to reveal the answers. I have included a list of the common idioms in the presentation with definitions for students to use if they need support. Students can use it as a study guide if you want to assess them on it. Idioms are a type of figurative language that uses expressions and phrases that don't make sense when taken literally. There are many common idioms in English, and students should be familiar with the well-known ones, and be able to avoid using them in their academic writing. They should also understand what an idiom is and be able to develop their own and use them in creative writing.
Student Directions: Today is the first pep rally of the year, and everyone is looking forward to a fun afternoon. The Cougar Cheerleaders are famed for using idioms (expressions not easily understood when the meanings of the words are taken literally) in their cheers. It’s not the idioms that make them famous, though, it’s because two or more idioms are often used in the incorrect order and mixed together. Since everyone has fun figuring out what they are actually trying to say, it’s not known whether the team makes the mistakes on purpose.
For each cheer, the two mixed-up idioms are underlined and in bold. Try putting the idioms back in the correct order! You can click to get a hint before you reveal the answer! There are twenty questions. Enjoy!
Teacher Directions: This is an interactive PowerPoint. Students click through the slides to get hints and answers. So the answers are embedded in each slide. I like to do this as a fun and casual whole group activity by presenting the slides to the entire class and have students take turns answering. You can also present it more formally, where the students view it, view the hints, discuss, and write down their answers before being shown the answer.
If you want to grade student answers, have them write down the number of the question on their own paper in PEN so they can’t erase it, and don’t show the answer until everyone has written down an answer. Then they can mark their answers right or wrong as you present the PowerPoint. There are twenty questions.
I also have made a companion worksheet, in case you would rather do this activity with a hard copy. (See the next slide) It is also useful for when you have a student who was absent for the activity, or to use when you have a substitute.
This is not only a great resource for students who are English Language Learners, but I was surprised how many of my middle school students were not familiar with common idioms.
After my students have completed this activity, I have them draw pictures of the literal meanings of idioms. You get some very funny pictures. I remind them that the best writing does NOT use common idioms, and that they should be creative in their own work.